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Robert Osborne and the new TCM

Guest dredagain

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The article has been discussed in a couple of threads here in General Discussion the last couple of weeks. The author is now posting here as well.


You can probably find those threads in the archives

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Interesting... Seems the "new management," as they're called in the article, are making conscious changes in TCM programming to lure younger viewers, and rather unapologetically, saying (paraphrase), "Sorry if the old geezers don't like it, we'll get complaints from them, but we have to increase revenues!!!" Didn't the article also allude to some kind of promotion of the website in order to sell stuff (like the DVD boxed sets)? Maybe that accounts for the recent influx of "younger viewers" posting here... I can't get any other explanation for it, try as I might... Anyway, three cheers for RO; was, is, will always be a CLASS ACT... Thank you, RO, for the good times...

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well thankfully, the article also said that Osborne is in all future plans. I met him once 10-12 years ago in Albuquerque when he was touring with Ann Miller for some TCM promotion or other. He's a class act all the way. Although he needs to learn how to pronounce Franchot Tone's name (lol).


Ben Mankiewicz is ok and is the probable heir apparent to Osborne. At least Ben has the Hollywood "genes" and is not just an actor for hire. I remember the old AMC hosts like Nick Clooney and whoever the other guy was. They were pretty awful.

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I'm having fits over the new (very new, as in Born Yesterday) co-host of the Essentials but, HEY, gotta raise those revenues!!! Sad that everything (good) always comes down to the bottom line.


Yes; reassuring that RO isn't going anywhere; bless him for hanging in there with equanimity...

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Hi all


i have to put my say here..i love Robert Osbourne..he is TCM...i hope he stays as long as he can..as far as Ben..i dont like em...hes not right for TCM...i think he only got this job because his uncle is who he is..his whole demeanor bothers me..its very aloof..dead...theres just nothing there,,thank god hes only on the weekend..i dont see him ever taking over for Mr.Osbourne..god i hope not..sorry my opinion...im SURE other ppl agree with me...he has NO personality.,,,just seeems bored with these old movies..he even says it sometimes...i cant remember his exact quotes because i try not to watch him...but something like" This is a very boring or bad movie..but here it is....i mean really ..he just seems soooo bored..



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"Seems the "new management," as they're called in the article, are making conscious changes in TCM programming to lure younger viewers, and rather unapologetically, saying (paraphrase), "Sorry if the old geezers don't like it, we'll get complaints from them, but we have to increase revenues!!!" - otterhere


You're "paraphrasing" leaves much to be desired and shows your biases.


From the article -

"There are some people who watch the network constantly and some get grumpy about watching some of the newer , and think we're becoming more like AMC," says.


More Tabesh -

"There's no goal of introducing more contemporary movies this year," Tabesh says, "but the goal is to showcase the history of the Academy Awards. ... Some people definitely freak out when they see a movie from the '90s. We're still living with this ... from when AMC shifted their format. Everyone is still on edge from that. [Viewers are still] scarred by that and feel that any movie that we play from the '80s and '90s, it's, 'Oh my God, they're going the way of AMC, and they're going to add commercials,' which is not at all true." (emphisis mine)


And this from Turner Entertainment President Steve Koonin -

""If you said to me, 'Make this into a multibillion-dollar business to compete with TNT,' that's impossible," says Steve Koonin, who, as Turner Entertainment Group's president, assumed control over TCM last spring. "That's not [TCM's] role. (emphisis mine)


I didn't read anything that discounted the opinions of long-time viewers ("geezers" or not.) and even the "head" of TCM says that TCM could never succeed as channel similar to TNT or AMC (which is dependent on younger viewers) - save for succeeding in destroying it.


TCM's role as the primary (sole?) media outlet acting as the "archivists" of Film History is unique and valuable. What the "new management" is searching for is a way to commoditize that position so that the channel can continue in that role without going the "commercial interruption" route.. In TCM, they have something of value and the question is how to translate that value into a source of revenue for the channel.


Most obviously that means "banner ads" on the website (but not in the Forums - yet.) hawking the new "Forbidden Hollywood" boxset and other promotions involving the sale of merchandise through the website. Purchasing DVDs through the website might be an effective way to ensure TCM remains commercial-free. It may also mean there will be additional "underwriting" of special programming events on TCM - like the relationship developed with Hermes and the "Short Film Festival" two years ago. Or Starbucks and the "TCM Special Edition" DVD of White Christmas sold there in 2006.


For the time being, I think the website will be the primary method of "new revenue generation" for the channel. That is why "TCM.com" has been mentioned consistently in the station's promos and even during the intros and outros during the "31 Days..." event last month. (It probably explains the influx of new members here too.) This website created by TCM is also one unique and valuable piece of internet real estate. The television channel and this website are the lynchpins of the "TCM Brand". The challenge now is to expand on that brand identity in ways that will draw additional revenue while maintaining the quality - and viewer loyalty - associated with all things TCM. (TCM "Happy Meals" anyone?)


I think it is safe to say that TCM will NOT be undergoing the kind of "re-branding" that Turner Entertainment recently undertook with CourtTV - which is now called TruTV. That change seems to be an effort to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. It appears that the powers that be in Atlanta already know that they have a silk purse in TCM. How to generate revenue to "fill" that purse is the long term goal.


Kyle In Hollywood

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>"There are some people who watch the network constantly...



Well excccccccuuuuuuuuuusssssse me!


So TCM doesn't want their paid subscribers to watch the channel constantly? What the hell am I paying for the channel for? I'm retired. I can't get out of the house much. This is my main form of entertainment and my only source of movies.

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If it is the Cliff Notes version you want, how about this -


Nothing in the article "slammed" older viewers or "long-time" viewers.


Nothing in the article referenced "changes" to the programming on TCM.


TCM is a different breed of television channel and won't be asked to compete with "youth-dependent" channels like TNT (or AMC). There is no "conscious effort" to attract young viewers. (Which is different from attracting "new" viewers.)


Revenue generation through TCM will take place through mechanisms to exploit the TCM "Brand".- primarily through this website.


Turner Entertainment's sister network CourtTV just went through a complete overhaul and a re-branding (TruTV). That will not be the fate of TCM.


Kyle In Hollywood

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I always erase over robert osborne when I record a movie. nothing personal.


TCM shows bastardized versions of movies. I assume its ok with robert osborne to show a version of a movie that the author does/did not approve. Its unethical & gives legitimacy to the practice of creating bastardized versions. I'll name a few,

She Played With Fire is a bastardized version of Fortune is a Woman. The title is absurd because the "she" Arlene Dahl has nothing to do with the fire. I mean while this may be a trivial thing to TCM it is not trivial to the authors. There are prints in existence with the correct title & editing.

The Black Book is a bastardized version of Reign of Terror.

The original title of Pickup Alley is Interpol.

The original title of Gypsy Girl is Sky West & Crooked.

The original title of Blood on Satan's Claw is Satan's Skin.

When artists create a movie the title is important. Many times the title is the same as the novel on which it is based. People who change the title are not included in the creative process.

October Man is 110min. TCM bastardized version is 95 min. The film editor of October Man did not edit the 95 min. version.

Curse of the Demon is a bastardized version of Night of the Demon & the 81min. cut is not edited by the film editor.

As long as nobody says anything then the abuse of artists rights is going to continue......I only named a few but there are many many more titles.......... perhaps you guys'd care to name some.....

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I'm constantly amazed at the conspiracy theories that are launched and furthered on the TCM website. I assume it is only natural to feel that changes are going to come and the old TCM will give way to some bastardized version. The bottom line is that they still program over 300 movies per month and even if 25 of them were modern classics, they would still be airing 2-3x more other pre-1970s movies then other channel. The article that everybody is referencing clearly says that they have moved a lot of the senior management out so obviously they are making some effort to distance themselves from the past but as a loyal watcher I have seen very little evidence that much has changed. I do however do not like their choice of Rose Magowan for Essentials host, that one really does seem like a bogus outreach to sexy up the channel and the fact that TNT airs her series Charmed feels like obvious cross-promotion. There have been a lot of interesting Guest Programmers and most of them can sound intelligent if they prepped themselves but I miss that expertise from the directors, whether it be Reiner or Pollack or even Bogdanovich, they gave you more then what you can read in a book. My greatest concern about TCM is that they were the one place left on the dial that were still doing thoughtful documentaries by master craftsmen like Kevin Brownlow, those seem to have gone away which is sad. I watched a pre-code documentary the other night, and it really didn't seem up to speed with their other documentaries, maybe TCM is making them in-house now. I see they are doing one with Gene Wilder and Alec Baldwin in April..........hasn't the world had enough Alec Baldwin....uch. I watched an old documentary the other day on John Garfield, it was really terrific. In terms of other "brand-building" that they cite in the article, they have always promoted the web site on-air and they have been hawking dvds and merchandise for awhile, that's been going on for years and it is not a sign of the apocolypse. Robert Osborne is a constant, and the article makes it clear that he isn't going away.......when he goes, it will be time to worry. New management will always try to make their mark in some way, happens everywhere, but from the article it sounds like they understand the unique appeal of TCM and hopefully they will leave it be .

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"Adding commercials" is hardly the only danger; it's nice of them to reassure us that there's no plot afloat to add commercials (at least not now although, hey, they COULD "increase revenues"!!!)... However, if what they're showing is modern schlock, commercials could only improve the viewing experience...

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"I always erase over robert osborne when I record a movie. nothing personal."


This from yet another *new* poster who joined just last month and has posted fewer than 50 times. Boy, if THIS doesn't say it all, I don't know what does!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I think you should start a newcomers' club and print t-shirts with this saying on the front: "I Always Erase Over Robert Osborne," and "Nothing Personal" on the back. Hold a convention.


Somewhere else.

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